Skip to content, or skip to search.

Skip to content, or skip to search.

A Pinup P&L

ShareThis

The thousands of photos that Irving Klaw commissioned of Bettie Page from 1952 to 1957 created an American icon, but the cheesecake business could be fickle. Last month the Chelsea shop Klaw founded, Movie Star News, sold its entire inventory to a memorabilia dealer who plans on putting the archive up for auction. Here, the wages of titillation.

$20
Per-photo-shoot fee paid to Page by Klaw, as of 1952

$.20
Klaw’s production cost, per photo

$.50$1
Typical price of individual pinup shots during the fifties

$15
Price for a 100-pack of pinups

$1.5 million
Klaw’s estimated gross earnings in 1955

$4,000
Average licensing fee Klaw charged for Page images in the sixties

$10,000
Bail posted by Klaw after he was indicted in 1963 for conspiracy to use the mail to distribute obscene material

8
Number of years Page spent in Patton State Hospital after being diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1983

$4.125 million
Estimated present value of Movie Star News’ Page negatives, according to new owner Stuart Scheinman

$6 million
Amount earned by Page’s estate in 2011, ranking her thirteenth on Forbes’ list of highest-paid dead celebrities

Have good intel? Send tips to intel@nymag.com.


Related:

Advertising
Current Issue
Subscribe to New York
Subscribe

Give a Gift

Advertising